Oliver Jarvis believes Mazda would have “for sure” won Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge presented by TLX Type S had the race stayed green and not turned into a fuel-saving contest.
Jarvis drove the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P to a third place finish after combining with co-driver Harry Tincknell to lead a race-high 72 laps.
The Multimatic-run DPi entry dominated the first half of the race with pole-sitter Tincknell jumping out into a 13-second lead over the eventual race-winning No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 of Filipe Albuquerque.
Mazda’s fortunes, however, turned upside down in the race’s only full-course caution with one hour to go that ultimately erased their advantage.
“I was fine when I got in the car,” Jarvis told Sportscar365. “I was just getting the tires up to temp and was going well and then the yellow came out.
“The timing of the incident meant we were very unlucky and didn’t have time to react before the yellow. We boxed under safety car and kept the tires on.
“There was no way we could have done the pace with the fuel saving they were doing.
“I don’t know if there’s a disparity but it was impossible to keep up with the 31 and the 10 with the amount of fuel saving we needed to get to the end.
“With the used tires, the restart was like ice. You just lose tire temp with that amount of fuel save. It was definitely a tough hour and 10 minutes.”
Jarvis said the car felt “fantastic” once he was able to get in a rhythm in fuel save but was unable to match the pace of the leading Acura and Cadillac, finishing nearly 13 seconds from winner Ricky Taylor.
“It was really impressive for them,” Jarvis said of the WTR Acura. “I have to say congrats to Wayne. They have a habit of winning. But it’s disappointing as we had the pace in the car.
“I’m confident if the race had run green we would have won it. But that’s not how it played out.
“I’m not sure with the way the yellow came that we could have won it with the aggressive fuel save we needed to do to get to the finish.”
Despite missing out on the win, Jarvis and Tincknell remain second in the DPi championship, now trailing Taylor and Albuquerque by 55 points heading into next month’s round in Detroit.
“It’s been a good weekend,” said Jarvis. “We struggled in practice. The team did an amazing job to recover from that, put it on pole.
“We showed that we could have won the race. It didn’t quite fall our way but three podiums in three races, we just have to keep grinding results out.”